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New Milwaukee County Parks Director Hired
Abele picks a new chief who resigned from Fairfax County, Va.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced via his Facebook page that a new Milwaukee County Park Director has been hired. Here's the post:

I happy to announce that we have hired a new Milwaukee County Parks Director.

John Dargle previously served as the head of the Fairfax County Park Authority, which is an accredited and nationally-respected park system that serves more than one million residents of Fairfax County, Virginia.

We conducted a national search for this position and received many top notch candidates. The interview panel chose John because of his record of excellence, his enthusiasm for the power of a parks system in an urban environment and his history of collaborative work with constituents, partners, stakeholders and government leaders. 

John was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army from 1988 to 1995. He served in the Persian Gulf War and was a helicopter pilot. He and his wife Maureen have three children and they are excited to be moving to Milwaukee County.

Please help me welcome John.

The Parks People, a nonprofit organization promoting the parks, also released a statement. “We’re excited to work with a Director who won a “Gold Medal” for parks management in 2010 from the National Recreation and Parks Association and we hope under John’s leadership the Milwaukee County Parks Department will bring home another gold medal,” the release said.

Dargle resigned from his previous post in April, according to a press release from Fairfax County. He was appointed to that post in June 2008. During his 5-year tenure, the parks department was awarded a Gold Medal Award – its third.

The previous director of Milwaukee County Parks, Sue Black, was fired with no public explanation last summer. A national search has been going on since then. In January, we profiled Black in “Free Agent.”

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